One Piece Episode 777
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 777 of
One Piece ?
Between Dressrosa and Zou, there was a really abysmal clip show that reanimated segments from hundreds of episodes ago. Now that we're transitioning arcs once again, it seems as though this might become a more regular occurrence; the vast majority of this episode is a remake of the Alabasta arc. It's nowhere near as bad-looking, and there's important story content accompanying it, but it's definitely another blow to the recent snail's pace that I'm desperate to get out of.
Vivi and the rest of the Alabasta crew are off to Mariejois, the capital of the World Government. The upcoming "Reverie", a meeting of the various royal leaders of the world that's held every four years, has been given tremendous significance in the story, trailing back long before the timeskip. The stated intent of this meeting is to have discussions about the betterment of the world, but the narrator sums it up succinctly: "Since they are all judicious and sly leaders of nations, things never go smoothly." The politicians are not a far cry from the pirates.
One Piece has done a tremendous job creating a political landscape of its own, where everything is connected and corruption is not easily dealt with. The implication is that massive change-ups will be set in motion, both good and bad. The Straw Hats will have several friends there, the kingdoms of Alabasta, Dressrosa, and Fishman Island, the latter having the most at stake since they seek to repair race relations between Fishmen and humans. Also present is Navy Admiral Fujitora, who's still fairly new to the government system but seems strong and wise enough that his goal of abolishing the Seven Warlord system doesn't seem impossible, albeit likely with some trouble.
Fans have spent a long time speculating whether or not the inevitable Reverie would involve the Straw Hats themselves being present, but considering the current events, that seems unlikely. I'm sure we'll see much of the Reverie itself, but it will have to exist as a side story that Luffy isn't directly involved in. At the same time, Luffy's friends like Vivi and Shirahoshi seem like appropriate point-of-view characters in his absence. I'm placing my bets on the Reverie happening in the transition between the Whole Cake Island and Wano arcs.
So most of this episode is ultimately a clip show. In theory, it should be nice to see old scenes tidied up with new animation, but more often than not, it's depressing to see the organic feel of the old episodes interpreted with a flat, plastic look. I don't think the newer animation of the series' style is inherently bad, but I think getting the most out of it requires more time and care than Toei often has. It just feels different, and for the worse.
This episode is a million times better than the last re-animated clip show, so at least it's got that going for it. The hints of the upcoming Reverie are exciting, and there's enough story content in here to make it worth watching. The episode also ends with Carrot's surprise appearance on the Thousand Sunny as Luffy and crew are on their way to Whole Cake Island, so that's one more person for the Sanji Rescue Team. All in all, it's a fine episode.
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